People have been asking me to write the rest of the conference up, and I didn’t do that last week, as I wanted to write about my mid-training point. But this week’s post is about the rest of the conference.
I wasn’t able to go for the first day (my leave year runs August to August and my training takes a LOT of days), and that was the day that things were decided. I was only able to make Thursday, as fri-sun was a training weekend for me.
In some ways, I was disappointed. There was one workshop that i REALLY wanted to go to (with many others that I would have been happy to go to), and I emailed the person organising it to put in a request for that Thursday, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. It might not have happened if I’d been there anyway, but there was a disappointment for me.
So Thursday morning I turned up, met a few familiar faces from BAPCA last year, grabbed a coffee and headed in to community. Community was a bit ‘bitty’ – I wasn’t the only person who hadn’t been there the day before, so there were organisational things to share with the group, and feelings to be heard. Early on, someone came in with an idea that I understand didn’t come off, and I have THOUGHTS about (and from), which I’ll share probably next week.
After morning community I went to a workshop. I don’t actually remember which one it was. So I feel bad. I might actually have stayed in community to be honest – I have a memory of three lots of community, and it’s all a bit fuzzy!
After lunch however, there was nothing in particular that I wanted to do, and I ended up wandering around with another trainee (just finished!) and then we met someone else and the three of us sat and talked for a session. It was great. Hard work, but connection (or the attempt to connect) deeply with other people for an hour was good and nourishing. It made me realise that I had been missing something in the morning community, and that was what I had come to conference for. I also knew that there was one other workshop and then as a day participant, my time was up. So in the break I spoke to an organiser and asked if it would be ok if I stopped for dinner and evening community. They graciously agreed I could (I certainly wasn’t the only one, and even then the venue massively over-catered), so I headed to the last workshop, which was about fledgling counsellors and helpful advice. It was a great session and I enjoyed it a lot.
Then dinner, and I got speaking to someone who is local to me. We spent dinner talking over various future plans (more of those next week) and swapped details. Then we headed back to community. It was due to finish at 10, but I left at the end at 10.40. THAT was the thing I had been looking for – the connection. It was interesting; I shared something very personal to me, because it became very present and wouldn’t leave, and then I could feel myself disconnect from the group, and then suddenly reconnect some time later, but I felt part of something. I felt like a something that mattered. *this* was the community I was looking for. This was the bit I enjoyed.
ADPCA was a difficult conference for me, as I like to be told what I’m going to and when, and just go. It is an entirely different concept to think about a conference that’s based a) around community and b) that is self-directed. I am trying more and more to come to terms with it, and I think that I am and I think that I like it, but it is taking some getting used to.
A couple of future things have come out of it that I look like being involved in, and I will update with those next week 🙂